We researched and spoke to experts to extract the following 15 ways to manage problems associated with heatwave in Nigeria. These tips apply to everyone but some are specific to the vulnerable – children, the pregnant, the elderly, the sick, and outdoor workers. Here we go.

  1. Slow down: Ensure you do not engage in strenuous activities outdoors. It is better to wait until the weather cools before doing hard physical work.
  2. Use water wisely: One cup of water every hour is recommended so that you can achieve 2 to 3 litres per day. Note that you shouldn’t drink water that is too cold. You can supplement with non-alcoholic and if you are not thirsty.
  3. Wet your skin: Take a cool bath or shower. For children and in other situations, use a damp cloth to wet the skin
  4. Using fans and AC: Electric fans are good for blowing hot air away and drawing in cooler air. In hot whether, however, avoid facing the fan towards yourself. Do not use the fan if the temperature is above 40°C – it will blow dry air that dehydrates the body faster and endanger your health. If you have AC with fan, set the thermostat to 27˚C and add the fan. This will make the room feel 4˚C cooler.
  5. Find Cool spots outside: The coolest available place to stay may not be indoors. The general idea is to find a cooler shade, remembering that this can outside.
  6. Know when to seek help: In addition to avoiding vigorous activity at noon, watch out for symptoms that may require medical care – fainting, dizziness, or nausea.
  7. Check up on vulnerable persons: The elderly (above 65), newborns, infants and children, pregnant women, and those with preexisting medical conditions are susceptible to heatwave. Constantly check on them to see if they need assistance. Any elderly person taking medications, living alone or with limited mobility is particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness and death.
  8. Dress appropriately Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-colored clothing that reflect heat and sunlight. Anything else will absorb heat and make you uncomfortable.
  9. Avoid direct sunlight Sun rays make it difficult for the body to dissipate heat. So, either stay away from sun or minimize direct exposure.
  10. Eat and drink wisely: Light foods and those that are easy to digest are recommended. Fruits and vegetables are ok. If you’re taking food to work, put it in a cooler and don’t leave it under the sun because it could easily spoil in the hot weather.
  11. Care for electronic devices: Don’t leave valuable electronic devices, such as cell phones, sitting in hot cars.
  12. Dont leave children behind in vehicle: Studies show that temperatures rise rapidly inside a parked car. The dashboard and car seats can quickly rise above 40°C. Leaving the car windows down will not decrease the heating rate. When you return to the vehicle, check that the child’s safety belt is not very hot before strapping on.
  13. Keep your children cool: At home or in their schools, they should be made to drink plenty of water and limited from playing outdoors until the weather is cooler. However, the fluids should not be very cold or high in sugar and sweetener content.
  14. Outdoor workers are vulnerable: Studies also show that the bodies of outdoor workers can react to excessive heat. They should also drink water often, find a cool shade to rest during breaks, and work less when the weather is hotter.
  15. Check weather forecasts: Our final tip is to follow up on weather forecasts. Most people in Nigeria are sceptical about weather forecasts but they are as accurate as can be. The authorities are yet to rely on whether tools that isolate different geographies but the general forecasts are accurate. So, keep abreast of the forecasts ahead of time and prepare better for each day.


No one is really immune from heatwave – kids, adults, elderly, men and women. Knowledge is power and these tips on 15 ways to manage heatwave should surely help us all stay safe.


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